Politicians of all parties have been paying tribute to the former Labour leader Michael Foot who died yesterday. The great political orator and academic famously sparked off a class war in 1981 when he forgot to wear a designer suit to the Cenotaph.
One former Tory grandee recalled reaction at the time. "It was appalling. There we were trying to rebrand the Conservative Party - to make it appeal to the "loadsamoneys", the self made men. And then along comes this lofty old socialist, arrogantly wearing a donkey jacket - and not a designer label in sight!"
The grandee dismissed claims that the Queen Mother complimented Foot on his choice of jacket. "Well she would, wouldn't she? You're talking about someone who asked me on one occasion: "Tell me, what do you do, Signor Armani? Are you a novus homo?" I had to point out that the "Giorgio Armani" on my lapel was the man who'd created the suit that I was wearing, and that it was the current fashion for men like myself to display their designer labels. She replied by telling me how dreadfully vulgar I was and strolled off to talk to some other people."
He added: "People like Michael Foot and the Queen Ma'am had a totally different approach to the whole retail experience, I'm afraid... They were the kind of people who'd never be happy buying their own furniture for example - something about which I am totally relaxed."